Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, shows how he is hooking a new generation of kids on computer programming. "I remember sitting down with my wife for dinner...and we had this sudden, appalling realization that we had promised 600,000 people that we would build them a $25 dollar computer." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, DIY, Emerging technology, PopTech iceland 2012, Robotics,...
Accompanied only by his piano, Grammy award-winning recording artist and philanthropist John Legend performs the soulful "Wake Up" and "Shine" from his album, Wake Up!, including a song that appears on the soundtrack to the documentary Waiting for Superman. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Culture, PopTech 2010
Imogen Heap plays a stripped-down version of what she says is her most popular song, "Hide and Seek." It came together by accident one night when her computer died and she was forced to look at her instruments in a new way. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Art, Environment, PopTech 2010
Dr. Kari Stefansson is recognized as a leading figure in human genetics who studies the fuzzy relationship between genetic mutations and environmental factors. "Where is the line of distinction between nature and nurture? Where is the line of distinction between genes and environment? It really doesn't exist." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Biology, Evolution, PopTech iceland 2012
2009 PopTech Fellow Deb Levine founded ISIS - Internet Sexuality Information Services - in 2001 to promote sexual health. Using the web, mobile phones and other media, ISIS gives people private and convenient access to information on critical health issues like HIV prevention and unplanned pregnancies. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Health, Education, Technology, Fellows, PopTech 2009, Social Innovation Fellows...
Margret Pala is a preschool management specialist in Iceland who advocates sex-segregated classes, natural play material instead of conventional toys, and a long-forgotten belief in discipline to develop optimism, courage, and resiliency in young children. "Feel the cold! I even take them into the snow -- and then the lava. Scream a little bit! But continue! And enjoy it!" Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Culture, Education, PopTech iceland 2012, Youth
Economic commentator and author Tim Harford presented a creative, challenging perspective on financial systems, drawing upon examples from oil rig explosions to nuclear disasters to make his point. He believes that by studying the triggers of major engineering accidents, we can draw lessons on how to help prevent crises in the financial world. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, Big systems, Business, Economics, Finance, Governance, Journalism,...
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, MD and clinical trainer Laurie Leitch, Ph.D., founded Threshold GlobalWorks to explore a neurobiological approach to social resilience. "We are all wired with it, in case you did not know that," says Leitch. "We are born neurologically wired for resilience because our system is survival-based." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Mind, PopTech Iceland 2012, Psychology, Resilience
Reihan Salam, a New America Foundation fellow, writes on politics, culture, and technology. At PopTech 2009, Salam argues that America's growing diversity, divided by massive inequalities, will lead the country to increasing social conservatism. Salam also co-authored Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Politics, Economics, Culture, PopTech 2009
Saman Arbabi and Kambiz Hosseini started a satirical television show, Parazit, broadcast on Voice of America. Today, it is an international phenomenon, drawing more than 700,000 followers. They use the power of satire combined with content from citizens on the street to expose injustices happening across Iran. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, PopTech 2011, Culture, Politics, Democracy, Journalism, Funny
Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer discusses the surprising power of being present during everyday activities. "We have many, many studies that suggest that the limits we assume are real are artificial, and that we don't have to accept them at all." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, mind, PopTech 2013, psychology
Steve Lansing, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, discusses the Byzantine system for the distribution of water from a volcanic lake in Bali to over two hundred farming villages. It's worked since the 12th century, it's egalitarian and it's still-sustainable. "It's one of the few functioning, ancient democratic institutions that we know about. It's kind of beautiful." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, Culture, Democracy, Engineering, Governance, PopTech iceland 2012,...
Climate change is exacerbating flooding in waterlogged Bangladesh. Already, hundreds of schools get wiped out during the monsoon season. Mohammed Rezwan builds floating schools, healthcare facilities and libraries. "If 20 percent of the land goes under water, which may happen in the next 10 to 20 years, where will these people go? We don't have enough space, enough land. People have to live on the water in some way." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, Community, Development, DIY, Education, PopTech Iceland 2012,...
For more than thirty years, Dr Dean Ornish has demonstrated the power of a healthy lifestyle as the best kind of preventive care. These choices, Ornish reveals, are can turn on" disease-preventing genes and "turn off" genes that promote illness. Dr. Ornish has published a number of best-selling books on the subject; the most recent is The Spectrum. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Health, Medicine, Food, Science, PopTech 2009
Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, explores how resiliency can empower even the most destitute and vulnerable communities. "When the World Bank was planning to invest $100 million dollars in upgrading the slums in Nairobi, these slum-dweller leaders were represented at the table." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, Business, Community, PopTech iceland 2012, Resilience
Silja Omarsdottir was one of 25 people tapped to rewrite Iceland's constitution after the country's financial meltdown in 2008. She details how the citizens of Iceland reacted to the bank collapse and the eventual response from the government, which included updating the country's constitution. Omarsdottir explains the constitution creation process and what it meant to overhaul the constitution, with considerable public input, in four months. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Governance, Law, Politics, PopTech iceland 2012
Amy Cuddy revealed that we can actually change feelings we have about our own status through the physical positions we take with our bodies. Her research participants had higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol after only two minutes in a "power pose". Cuddy asked if such findings can have wider implications for empowerment training. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech 2011, Psychology
Didier Sornette is a professor of entrepreneurial risks in Zurich. He explores data patterns to help predict crises and extreme events in complex systems, like global financial crises. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, Big systems, Economics, PopTech Iceland 2012, Resilience
Kelly Benoit-Bird, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, applies acoustics to the study of ecosystems in the open ocean. "When we look more deeply at the ocean, we are given new insights on how we interact with that ocean, and what we can do to effectively protect it." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Ecology, Fellows, Ocean, PopTech 2012, Science Fellows 2012
Reggie Watts is an entertainer who combines stream-of-consciousness improvisational comedy with music to create a wholly original experience. A PopTech veteran, Watts knows this audience well and he handled them like a pro, getting big laughs with a smart blend of sarcasm and self-deprecation during his performance. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Funny, PopTech 2010
MIT professor Dan Ariely believes that the starting point for making better decisions, particularly with financial matters, requires understanding the impulse to act irrationally. At PopTech 2009, Ariely discussed an excerpt from his new book, The Upside of Irrationality, about the role of emotions in the workplace. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Economics, Science, Psychology, Behavioral Economics, PopTech 2009,...
Animal communication researcher Katy Payne has been studying the sounds of African elephants and humpback whales for decades. Her research has led her to fascinating conclusions on how acoustic phenomena shape relationships and communities. In1999, Payne founded the Elephant Listening Project to monitor elephants' movements. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, Africa, PopTech 2009, Science, Biology
Colin Rich captures fantastic images of the world from 24 miles in space. He creates his amazing videos and still photographs with simple system that includes high-altitude weather balloons, hacked video cameras and a GPS system to track the cameras wherever they land. The images he creates are otherworldly. Read and watch more on the PopTech blog. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Photography, Space, PopTech 2010, Shorts
Dutch bulb grower, Pieter Hoff has an idea about how to make deserts bloom: capture the humidity in the air, store it in a box, and use that condensation to water plants. He calls this box the Groasis waterboxx and he thinks it can change how we feed the world and reduce greenhouse gases. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Environment, PopTech 2010, Ecology, Green, Sustainability, Water, Innovation
Justin Gallivan is an Emory University chemist who explores the boundaries of biology by engineering bacteria to behave in predictable ways. Gallivan's research on reprogrammable bacteria has important implications for complex challenges such as the need to track and clean up environmental pollutants. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Biology, Living Systems DC Salon 2010, Engineering, Environment, Funny
Larry Smith wants to know your story. Since 2006, Smith has undertaken the Six-Word Memoir Project inviting his Smith Magazine readers to tell their live stories in just six words. His six-word memoir project can now be found in classrooms, boardrooms, hospitals, churches, speed-dating sessions, and at live six-word "slams" across the world. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Language, Culture, PopTech 2010
Consumer psychologist Simonetta Carbonaro implores us to think differently about consumption. A consumer-hungry outlook for cheaper and faster has gotten old. We now know that consuming and producing less, in fact, creates more jobs, more free time, and more happiness. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, PopTech iceland 2012, Resilience, Community, Culture, Design,...
Ben Lyon founded FrontlineSMS:Credit to allow microfinance institutions to send and receive secure loan payments, track loans and develop a micro-insurance model using the ubiquitous mobile phone. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Business, Fellows, Social Innovation Fellows 2010, Development, Finance, PopTech...
Eirikur Hrafnsson calls his new company, Green Qloud, the world's first green cloud computing company, bucking a frightening trend. " It is not far-fetched to imagine that in 30 or 40 years, 50 percent of our energy will be spent on IT." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Emerging tech, Energy, Internet, PopTech Iceland 2012
Dominic Muren's organization, The Humblefactory, champions "makers," craftspeople who make up the cottage industries of the world. His online platform helps empower these makers, linking them up with markets through co-manufacturing and product design strategy. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, PopTech 2011, Technology, Entrepreneur, DIY, Social Innovation Fellows...
Eli Pariser explores how ideas move in the networked economy. As the board president of MoveOn.org, he pioneered many practices of online organizing. Now, Pariser is focused on the social and political impact of the personalized web, examining the role that filters - both cognitive and software-based - have in shaping what information spreads, which he refers to as the Filter Bubble . Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Culture, Politics, Data, PopTech 2010, Activism, Internet
In her talk, "Why Whales are Weird," energetic, articulate anatomist Joy Reidenberg presented an amazing array of fact about the beloved mammal (Whales evolved from deer-like creatures! Their spinal movement is more like galloping in the water! They don't actually spout water! They have mustaches!). She took us through the story of evolution using whales as a model, explaining that evolution is the process to mediate resilience and thus, survival. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, Biology, Evolution, Ocean, PopTech iceland 2012
Massoud Amin wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a "smart" grid that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well as environmental and financial security. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Technology, Energy, Green, Transportation, PopTech 2009, Emerging Tech
MIT aeronautics professor and engineer Dava Newman had a dream: that of a slimmed down astronaut. See the streamlined, mobility-enhancing "Bio-Suit" she created for protecting astronauts from atmospheres and healthcare workers from germs. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, PopTech 2011, Space, Design, Engineering, Shorts, Emerging Tech,...
Fiddle virtuoso Mark O'Connor and 14-year-old prodigy fiddler Ruby Jane Smith share the 2009 PopTech stage. Together they mesmerize audiences with the duets that play tribute to the spirit of Americana music, at times slow and melancholy, and others rousing and lyrical. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, PopTech 2009, Culture
Adaptation is the basic idea that we get used to stuff and interpret signals. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explores how these types of signals relate to pain and social adaptation. How does our previous exposure to pain alter how we experience it now? How is it that we all appreciate the pinnacle of beauty in the same way, but we're drawn to partners with a level of attractiveness similar to our own? Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Economics, Culture, Psychology, PopTech 2010, Behavioral Economics
Violist Christen Lien combines her classical training with experimental acoustic and electronic sounds and a looping machine. What results is mesmerizing, layers of music that one fan called "a bridge to the divine." Entitled "Unabi," or Zulu for "flash of light," this song appears on Lien's debut album Vol I: Battle Cry. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, Culture, Living Systems DC Salon 2010
Brian Elliot founded Friendfactor to unlock the power of friendship to accelerate legal freedoms for LGBT people. Friendfactor's innovative social networking platform shifts the focus of gay rights from ideology towards a far more personal concept: friends making a difference in their gay friends' lives. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Fellows, Social Innovation Fellows 2010, Activism, Politics, Culture,...
Will Allen is co-founder and director of Growing Power, Inc., an organization that is transforming the production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. Growing Power operates as an urban farm and education center in Milwaukee, WI, and more recently, Chicago, teaching urban youth how to produce low-cost healthy foods for their communities. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Health, Food, Farming, Green, Community, Urbanization, Social...
Designer Orlagh O'Brien gave a simple emotion-specific quiz to a group of 250 people. Asking respondents to describe five emotions - anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love - in drawings, colors, and words, O'Brien ended up with a set of media she used to create Emotionally}Vague, an online graphic interpretation of the project's results. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, Data, PopTech 2010, Culture, Psychology, Language
Architect Neri Oxman is the founder of MATERIALECOLOGY, an interdisciplinary design initiative expanding the boundaries of computational form-generation and material engineering. One of Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business," Oxman investigates nature's material and performance, to define form itself. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Design, Technology, Architecture, Biology, PopTech 2009, Innovation, Ecomaterials
Co-founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), Paul Van Zyl has devoted his career to human rights. The South African has been helping his country out of apartheid through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Van Zyl calls on America to hold its own commission to "openly and publicly" confront the torture that recently occurred in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Conflict, Justice, Africa, Human Rights, Freedom, PopTech 2009
What makes an ideal marriage? Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies and author of "Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage," says that marrying for love is a radical idea. Ironically, as marriage is becoming a more emotionally satisfying relationship, it is also becoming less stable as an institution. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Culture, Psychology, PopTech 2010, Language
The one-man band, Jazari, consists of machines that play a variety of hand percussion instruments, all under the control Patrick Flanagan, who wields a custom-built controller and a Wii remote to create improvised jam sessions. After performing, Flanagan walked the crowd through the technical process of how his system works. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, Music, Robotics, PopTech 2010
George Bonanno, a professor of clinical psychology, mines massive data sets for surprising revelations about how human beings cope with loss, trauma and other forms of extreme adversity. "There isn't one thing that predicts resilience. It's not two things. It is not necessarily in us." Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Society, Mind, PopTech Iceland 2012, Psychology, Resilience
Icelandic five-piece band amiina takes the PopTech stage with a glockenspiel, a musical saw, a couple of violins, drums, and a laptop. They got their start as the string section for the legendary Sigur Ros and have gone on to play complex music that's sweetly innocent. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, PopTech Iceland, 2012
Health in India is compromised by dirty water. Sameer Kalwani's Sarvajal enables access to clean water, enlisting local entrepreneurs to sell it and monitoring water quality remotely. Customers are happy to pay to get clean water at their doorstep. What started with 1 village 3 years ago now provides safe water to 70,000 people daily. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Health, PopTech 2011, Economics, Fellows, Entrepreneur, Innovation, Social...
Logan Richardson's alto saxophone compositions have been hailed by the Jazz Times as "incisive, multi-dimensional and remarkably flexible, wrapping and twisting phrases into unexpected origami shapes." At PopTech 2009, Richardson's improvisations muse on musical favorites like "God Bless America". Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Music, PopTech 2009, Culture
Siddhartha Mukherjee's fascination with cancer is rooted not just in how to fight it, but in where it originated. Discovering almost nothing on the subject, the cancer physician and researcher wrote "Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer," that explores the history of the disease that causes one-quarter of all American deaths. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Science, PopTech 2010, Medicine, Health
Susan Casey wrote her latest book, The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, after researching the beautiful, mysterious and terrifying behavior of waves for the past three years. Casey recounted astonishing tales of misfit waves from around the world and what drew her to confront them firsthand. Topics: PopTech, PopCasts, Entertainment, Ocean, PopTech 2010, Business